A Big Bee Bash Is Beckoning: Learn About California's Native Bees

It's billed as a "Bee Bash," but it should be "Big Bee Bash."

Urban entomologist Gordon Frankie, professor emeritus and research entomologist in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley, will be one of the speakers. He specializes in behavioral ecology of solitary bees in wildland and urban environments and co-authored the celebrated book, California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists: (Heyday Books, 2014) by UC scientists, including the late Robbin Thorp, UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology. The book is available online from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR).

The Event: Bee Bash
Date: Saturday, April 1
Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Place: Annie's Annuals and Perennials, 740 Market Ave, Richmond, Calif.
Cost: Free

This is Annie's Annuals' first-ever Bee Bash. Earlier the plant nursery hosted spectacular butterfly summits. Butterfly guru Art Shapiro, distinguished professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, keynoted the 2018 summit. (Read his remarks on Bug Squad)

The schedule of events:

10 a.m.: Jennifer Jewell: “Invitations From and To the Garden: Cultivating Places & People”

11 a.m.: John Whittlesey: “Bumble Bees--Their Natural History & Designing Gardens to Support Them”

12:30: Tora Rocha and Angela Laws: “Maintaining Native Bee Habitats”

1:30 p.m.: Gordon Frankie: “Characteristics of Pollinator Habitat Gardens”

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., attendees can peruse the bee information tables and the arts and crafts area. They can purchase plants from the nursery, and merchandise and food from vendors.  Music is also planned.

About the speakers:
Jewell hosts the national award-winning weekly public radio program and podcast, "Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden." She's authored several book, including The Earth in Her Hands, 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants (Timber Press in 2020); Under Western Skies, Visionary Gardens from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast (Timber Press, May 2021); and What We Sow, to be published later this year by Timber Press.

Whittlesey is a nurseryman, garden designer, and author of The Plant Lovers Guide to Salvias,  published by Timber Press in 2014. 

Rocha is the founder and leader of the Pollinator Posse, a volunteer group based in Oakland that creates “pollinator corridors” in and around the Bay Area.  (Check out the Pollinator Posse Facebook page.)

Laws, a community ecologist, holds the title of Endangered Species Conservation Biologist, Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation.

California Bees and Blooms is the work of Frankie, ThorpBarbara Ertter of UC Berkeley, and Rollin Coville, a UC Berkeley doctoral alumnus and photographer.  Thorp, 1933-2019 (see tribute) also co-authored Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide (Princeton University, 2014).

Want a card set of California's common bees to help you identify them and learn more about them? The newly published (second edition) card set, "Common Bees in California," is available on the UC ANR catalog. From the website: "Nearly 1600 species of native bees can be found in California's rich ecosystems; this colorful pocket field guide will help you identify bees commonly found in urban gardens and landscapes." Frankie is one of the co-authors.

Native Bees Are a Rich Natural Resource in Urban California Gardens (California Agriculture, Volume 63, Number 3)